Lorenzo Surprised By Stoner Qualifying Pace

Jorge Lorenzo admitted he wasn't expecting Casey Stoner to go as quick as he did in qualifying at Assen today. The championship leader will start third behind Stoner and the other Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa and but is happy with the performance of his bike and is interested to see whether the Hondas can carry their pace into the race.

“I tried my best in the last lap of qualifying but I made a little mistake in the last chicane on braking and lost a few tenths. I was surprised at Casey's last lap; it was fantastic and so fast and Dani was also very close to him. We have a good position for tomorrow on the front row and we have a good race pace and I'm confident with the bike so I'm happy. Qualifying is one thing but the race is another, tyre choice will be important for the race.”

Ben Spies will start on the second row in sixth and was left frustrated by one of the CRT riders who held him up on his last flying lap, preventing him from improving.

“Qualifying was a frustrating experience. We tried a setting this morning and went backwards so the first bit of qualifying we tried a modified setting from yesterday which again wasn't working so well. We went back to yesterday's set up with a minor change but only got one lap in, which turned out to be my fastest lap. Unfortunately one of the CRT bikes got in the way on my qualifying lap. I know they are out there trying to do their thing as well so it's difficult.”

Team Director Massimo Meregalli felt the changing weather conditions cost his riders today but remains confident they can both move forward in the race.

“The rain didn't help so much today. Ben was on form for a best lap until T9 when he caught a slower CRT rider who closed the door on him and he lost his lap. I think he could have had a better position but in the end second row is not so bad. He's had good starts in the last races so we expect the same tomorrow. The pace is good, bike set up is good and we don't have any doubts about the tyres. Jorge showed a good pace with both soft and hard tyres so he will be there in the fight for victory.”